TovH Exclusive – ‘The Producer Series’: Pt. 6 – Brutal Death Metal
Today our mysterious producer teaches you the secrets of slam.
Want to record that perfect take? Write the riff to crush all genitalia? Get that perfect drum tone? Need album direction ideas? Well today we have something extra special for all you aspiring musicians, the Producer Series. This exclusive to TovH will put you in touch with one of the leading names in metal production today, helping you get the edge over the endless stream of new bands/artists all seeking those sweet yet ever-dwindling record deal dollars. Last time we spoke, B.S gave us the insider tips on how to get inside the 1’s and 0’s with Djent. Here in the sixth installment, he’s going to slam down a big mug of brootuhl.
So far we’ve sent your riffing into outer-space with Tech-Death, got you in touch with nature with all things Atmospheric, helped you create the harshest of Noise, blazed through Stoner metal and helped you become a proper Djentleman/woman. Once again, due to contractual obligations and other such legal restrictions imposed by those pesky record labels and other suit-wearing corporate scum, we’re not allowed to officially name the producer we’ve been in contact with. So for the purposes of this series, they’ll be referred to by their initials, B.S. I’m sure some of you who are more knowledgeable in the music industry have already worked out who it is, but for those who haven’t, let’s just say they’re a pretty big deal, having worked across a couple of decades, covered a plethora of sub-genres and collected ideas from all aspects of the music industry. What matters here for us though, is that we’ve got exclusive access to their insights and tips on how to breecome the most brutal band of all time and write the most punishing slamz ever conceived.
A. Buy An Old Medical Textbook
You’ll need it. For your song names, lyrical concepts and even band name, you’ll need a solid grounding in fancy medical jargon. I know what you’re thinking – “learning stuff isn’t brutal.” Rest easy, you don’t have to actually learn medicine. All you really need is the index. If you’re really fussy, you can check the glossary to make sure that they’re actual things. Look for long complicated words and combine them, simple as that. If you find some action shots of surgery or some obscure skin disorder in passing, by all means use them in the album booklet, but for the most part, all you need is the lexicon. Contrary to what some say about brutal death metal being thematically played-out and lacking in innovation, I think the genre is literally writhing with vigour and youthful zest. Look at the news; practically every week a new disease is being discovered. Viruses mutate. Prions… do prion stuff. Point is, you’ll never run out of new and interesting material to write about. Inside the illustrious confines of medicine, brutal death metal will remain perpetually virulent.
B. Choose Your Direction
This is generally the most important decision a Brutal Death Metal band will ever make. This choice will not only define your album, but it will define your career path. We know the music must be brutal and/or slamming, that’s a given. To make it in this genre you’ll have to pick a direction between splattering everything in blood or diverging down the path of spiky alien landscapes. Now I know what you’re thinking. Pointy-stuff? Aliens? That’s tech-death territory! Did I mention purple? No. Not purple, not tech. Think brown. Remember though, you won’t be able to afford the luxury of having a Dan Seagrave masterpiece crafted just for your album this early in your career, or maybe ever. So if you aren’t confident in your ability to source a contorting spiked brown hell, don’t feel down; simply get the red out and splat it over that unique corpse-looking thing your guitarist sketched from his cool horror poster until you’ve made it truly original. Also, if on the extremely rare chance that the cover appears to look similar to another band’s, just include a sewer or toilet.
AB. Be Surgical
You want to be brutal? You have to be surgical. Your riffing must have the precision of tech-death, without those wussy weedlies and deedlies of course. The palm muting must be so tight that your listener actually feels tight around the throat. If your hand technique isn’t strong enough to choke, turn on the backup noise gates and chuck on extra compression. Your drummer must match the intensity put forth by your guitarists. To round out the rhythm section, the bass must be in complete unmoving unison with the guitars. Everything must be rigid and exact. What’s the best way to reinforce this precision? To have stark contrast. Juxtapose this meticulous rigour with a sloppy piccolo snare (or two) and have your vocalist try their best to emulate the sound of a septic tank gurgling (sewerage=filthy, filth=brutal). But apart from those two completely minor sonic details, everything else must be surgically performed and recorded, because as we all know, nothing is more brutal than complex medical procedures.
O. Dismiss Other Genres
There’s a reason you’re into brutal death metal, and you’ve known it for quite some time. Ever since metal began some half a century ago, things have been progressively getting more and more heavy. You’re just simply ahead of the pack. You’re just more metal. People who are still languishing in the long forgotten doldrums of standard, non-brutal death metal will eventually realise the error of their ways. Those pussies who diverged down the purple path after watching Avatar too much (more than once) and formed tech-death only did so because they don’t have what it takes to slam. And deathcore? HAH, don’t even start. Basically, everyone else is a a giant sissy who just can’t handle the sheer brutality. Easiest way to spot these posers is to ask them to tell you the difference between slamming BDM and brutal slamz. If they can’t do that simple task, they just aren’t as metal as you and are frankly unworthy of your time.
Previously in the Producer Series –